Local baseball legend a driving force in FNC sport

BASEBALL correspondent Rob Baxter concludes the second instalment on the life of his father Reg Baxter.

Reg Baxter played baseball up to 75 years of age before the insurance companies would no longer cover him.

He was the driving force in the formation of Norths Baseball Club where he spent the majority of his playing career.

He also had small stints with Ballina and Goonellabah when both these clubs were in the inaugural years.

He spent 34 years on the Lismore and District Sports Trust, 8 years as president, before it was disbanded. He also was a Lismore city Councillor for 12 years from 1983 through to 1995.

Reg also had a great cricket career being a FNC representative for many years and was a member of Norths Cricket Club, holding many positions on the executive board

One of his highlights in cricket was at the age of 55 he hit a record 274 runs in a third grade match and along with Bernie Delaney set a fifth wicket partnership record of 214, which still stands today

In 1966, when FNC Baseball, was looking to make Albert Park its home base, he spent many hours, along with Harold Crozier and a number of other baseballers, planting couch on the main diamond.

Reg was also one of the main instigators in the push for the upgrade of Oakes Oval to make it one of the premier sporting complexes in the region.

When Oakes Oval was being upgraded he spent endless hours to ensure the best possible grass surface was obtained and then proceed to plant couch runners to give it the surface we have today.

When the Gabba was being upgraded in Brisbane he pushed for the council to buy the old stands for use at sporting grounds in Lismore, one of which can be seen at Albert Park.

Reg spent every Sunday afternoon at Oakes Oval collecting a $1 from every person who wanted to sit in the new grandstand.

In the 1960s, in an effort to give baseball more exposure, he had a baseball segment on the local TV station, Channel 8, for a number of years.

A noteworthy accolade was bestowed on Reg for his service to baseball was having the number one diamond at Albert Park bearing his name.

On August 7 2014, Reg passed away, seven weeks short of his 90th birthday, after his health failed and as a fitting tribute his ashes were spread on Baxter Field.

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